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Saturday, November 24, 2012

It's Official...We're Going To Be One Of Those "Weird Families"!

I am so excited to announce...I have FINALLY and OFFICIALLY decided to home school our kids.

I have struggled, wrestled, and thought about homeschooling for the past 2 1/2 years. Since R started kindergarten (he's now in 2nd grade) I stressed out about it. 3 days before public school started, I chickened out and decided to send him. I think it was mostly peer pressure and fear of family reactions about homeschooling.

Since then, so many things have happened. Most importantly, my husband is 100% on board with it! I am so blessed and lucky to have a man who loves me and trusts me enough to educate our babies. He knows I have nothing but their best interest at heart and would never jeopardize their future or their educations.

I have also been led and taught so much by God recently. Mostly that now is the time to stand up for my faith and what I believe in. I have sat back and allowed my kids to attend public education where they come home reciting the latest swear word they've picked up off the playground, sharing the way they were bullied or witnessed another child being bullied, and things they are learning that I either wish they didn't or flat out disagree with.

They learn about many religions in school. They made beautiful construction paper Menorahs, lovely Kwanzaa decorations and happily play "witches and warlocks" in gym class and color pictures with witches, black cats and ghosts. But when it comes to their faith, they aren't even allowed to sing a song about their own religion at school in a program that is supposed to be about Christmas. The Christmas they celebrate in school is the watered-down, commercialized one of course. Bells ringing, Santa on his sleigh with all of the reindeer, and a jolly Frosty the Snowman take center stage. Not a mention of Jesus.

I don't mind that they learn about other religions. However, I think it should be equal time.

The most important thing for them to learn, in my opinion, is about Jesus. They get nothing about Him in the 6 1/2 hours of time they spend in school 5 days a week. Since private school is not an option and cyber school is still public schooling, homeschooling it is.

I have ordered our curriculum and it is slowly but surely arriving. I am so excited.

Now we can start bowl-cutting their hair and sequester them at home so that they never socialize again.

Right?

Ha ha.

Frankly, I'd rather they not learn the kind of socializing they've been learning in school. They have a more colorful curse word Rolodex than I do and have started saying things like "That sucks!" Certainly not earth shattering, but not the kind of language I want my 6 and 7 year old fluent in.

I'm sure being home schooled is a guarantee that they will be perfect and unfettered by this cruel world.

Ahem.

I have no illusions.

Okay, maybe I have some illusions. But I won't know what they are until I meet them head on.

Here is my plan so far. This is a living and breathing plan, so I'm sure it will be tweaked or over hauled as needed.

*Order 1st & 2nd grade Abeka curriculum
*Gather/get any supplies needed for classroom:
     -markers (for the kids and for me)          -glue (sticks and regular)
     -calendar                                              -wall map (US, State)
     -empty jars for storage                          -letter trays
     -clipboard(s)                                         -Easel/dry erase board
     -3-ring binder(s)                                    -Laminator
     -Bulletin board                                      -Clock for learning to tell time
     -Pens/Pencils/Erasers                            -Globe
     -construction paper                               -thumb tacks
     -rulers                                                  -notebook paper/journal notebooks
     -scotch tape                                          -Art supplies/paint
     -Weather Center                                   -Baskets for each child for cubby
*Get together a lesson plan to accommodate Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grade curriculum.
*Get all supplies in place before the new year.
*Have a meeting with their principal telling him of our plans and officially withdrawing them from school (they are not legally mandated to attend in our state until they are 8 years old.)
*Find co-op for activities, field trips and playmates. (Have to work that all important "socialization" in, yes?)
Find out about daytime classes they can take in place of gym class/recess.

So...we're basically starting at scratch.

No, I'm not nervous at all *she said while twitching violently*.

Piece of cake.

As far as where we'll do our learnin'?

Here is the vision I have for our classroom (maybe minus the Sponge Bob pinata. Maybe):

Nice homeschool arrangement

A girl can dream.

Here's an awesomely blurry shot of what our room looks like now:



I'm excited. The kids are excited. 

E was so excited in fact, that she had me start a little with her kindergarten workbook today. 

Maybe that was a mistake. I don't want to say anyone's spirits were dampened, but the experience was such that I considered adding Valium to my supplies list above. 

So...January 2 is the official start date. I am busily scouring eBay for curriculum at a discount. So far we've saved over $250 off retail. That's pretty awesome. 

Now to figure out how to make a realistic lesson plan that fits in our day, works around 3 grades, and meets state standards. 

Any suggestions for me?? I'm all ears! Don't see the comment section below? Click on the title of this post and it will take you there. 





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